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Capturing context and space in football match analysis

Football is traditionally a sport of few statistics, and the bulk of the statistics that have been available, such as shots, fouls, and corner kicks, were neutral and summarizing in nature.  (Aside from the obvious positive statistic of goals, of course.) Thanks to companies such as Opta, Prozone, and Match Analysis, football clubs, football leagues, […]

Can soccer analytics produce better soccer?

The subject of this post is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but wasn’t motivated to write something until I read that Paul Gardner anti-analytics piece in Soccer America.  (I referenced it in the SRC Newsletter, which you really should subscribe to if you haven’t already.)  Here’s the final paragraph:——- To sum up: until […]

The tension between open-source and proprietary soccer analytics

My post in response to the Brian Phillips article in Slate touched a little on the issues of open source versus proprietary approaches to soccer analytics, but this blog post at Hot Time in Old Town (a Chicago Fire fan’s site) has motivated me to write more at length on the subject.  It’s something that […]

Assumptions, complexity, and openness — A response to Brian Phillips

Eric Vormelker hijacked my celebratory post with an article from Brian Phillips in Slate that questioned the move toward analytics in soccer.  (Quite all right, Eric!)  The article hits on points that I’ve made in previous posts on soccer analytics.  Being self-referential in blog posts is bad form, so I’ll just point you to the […]

Statistical analysis: not just for small clubs anymore

I haven’t written anything about the recent goings-on at Liverpool, but some of the front-office selections — in particular Damien Comolli to the new Directorship of Football Strategy — have implications for the use of soccer analytics at a professional soccer club.  It’s been thought that soccer analytics in general and “Moneyball” in particular might […]

Failure — the motivator for expanded use of soccer analytics

Brian Moore of the London Daily Telegraph has written a sharply critical article on the attitude of many within England’s football community toward fresh ideas regarding the sport.  I’m going to use the article as a springboard to make a larger point about the future of soccer analytics and their impact on the game.Now, this […]

On macro-statistics and micro-statistics

When I talk about statistics in soccer, I tend to group them into two different classes.  I’ve even written posts where I have made such distinctions but without much definition.  I’d like to take a step back and discuss what I feel are two important classes of data in soccer: macro-statistics and micro-statistics. (more…)